When you hear the word mentor what do you think of? Call me a nerd, but personally,  whenever I hear the word “mentor” an image of Harry Potter and Dumbledore pops into my head — working together to defeat evil. Through training, expertise, and support, Dumbledore used his experience to help Harry reach his full potential.

Although none of us will probably save the world from an evil wizard (but hey, who knows), we can all gain valuable insight by having a mentor. Mentors are a mix of your personal cheerleaders, Board of Directors, and a LinkedIn in real life. Their expertise and experience will be more helpful to you than you can even imagine. The impact they can have on you both personally and professionally is incredible.

1) Personal Cheerleaders

Having a mentor is like always having someone behind you cheering for your own personal successes. In a world where everything seems very competitive and cutthroat, having this positive reinforcement can give you the confidence you need to go for that big internship or job. Also, they can help you realize your strengths to accentuate and also your weaknesses that you need to work on. Having someone in your corner is always a good thing, and your mentor will always be there cheering for you to succeed.

2) Board of Directors

Like a Board of Directors at a company, your mentor will serve on your personal Board of Directors. This means that they will consult you on decisions you might make and ensure that you’re on the right path for personal success. While this might mean that they have to tell you the honest truth that might not be so easy to hear, having someone in your life that will give you this tough advice is super important.

3) Real-Life LinkedIn

On top of helping you with personal and professional decisions, your mentor can also help you on your behalf. Whether it be writing an awesome letter of recommendation or simply exposing you to their network of connections, by having mentors already in the professional world, you will be exposed to many more opportunities and potential employers than if you explored the professional world by yourself. Also, if they hear of potential opportunities, you will probably be the first person they tell. Those connections are unbeatable.

So start thinking about those in your life who you can ask to be your mentor. Whether it’s a professor, an employee of a company you work or intern for, or even a family friend, having a mentor will be incredibly helpful and impactful for your professional career.  Having a mentor; however, is no easy feat.  I believe the best mentors are the ones you have a sincere and genuine connection with.  Don’t just pick someone simply off of name recognition, status, or title. So what are you waiting for? Go find your personal Dumbledore.

Corinne C
Cabinet Member
Corinne loves late night reading, caramel lattes and everything to do with elephants. She thoroughly believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of sassiness.